Usually, the first “rules” we teach children are to always say “please,” “thank you,” and “I’m sorry.” Mother and writer, Toni Hammer, however, added a few more bullet points to that list.
In a Facebook post that has now reached more than 8,000 viewers, Hammer describes 13 things her five-year-old daughter shouldn’t do just to make others happy, like apologizing when someone else bumps into you. Hammer’s open letter is so spot-on that everyone, regardless of their age, could benefit from her advice.
Read the full list below:
1. “Don't apologize when someone else bumps into you.”
2. “Don't say ‘sorry to be such a pain.’ You're not a pain. You're a person with thoughts and feelings who deserves respect.”
3. “Don't make up reasons as to why you can't go out with a guy you don't wanna go out with. You don't owe anyone an explanation. A simple ‘no thanks’ should be acceptable.”
4. “Don't overthink what you eat in front of people. If you're hungry, eat, and eat what you want. If you want pizza, don't get a salad just because other people are around. Order the damn pizza.”
5. “Don't keep your hair long to make someone else happy.”
6. “Don't wear a dress if you don't want to.”
7. “Don't stay home because you don't have anyone to go out with. Take yourself out. Have experiences by yourself and for yourself.”
8. “Don't hold back your tears. Crying means you're feeling something that needs to get out. It's not a weakness. It's being human.”
9. “Don't smile because someone told you to.”
10. “Don't be afraid to laugh at your own jokes.”
11. “Don't say "yes" to be polite. Say "no" because it's your life.”
12. “Don't hide your opinions. Speak up and speak loudly. You should be heard.”
13. “Don't apologize for being who you are. Be brave and bold and beautiful. Be unapologetically you.”
Daughters, mothers, grandmothers, and other Facebook users loved Hammer’s advice so much that she decided to turn her 222-word letter into a full-fledged book titled Be Brave and Bold and Beautiful.
According to Hammer’s Amazon listing, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to a number of organizations whose mission is to “empower” and “encourage” young women everywhere.